My name is Christy. Growing up, my family went to the annual fundraiser for a local children’s home, which made me aware of the great need of children without families.
Adoption was something God placed on my heart from an early age and continued to remind me of periodically. During college, I traveled to Peru on a mission trip and also had the opportunity to volunteer with local elementary schools in a high-need part of the city. Adoption was something Rafael and I had discussed prior to getting married. As a police officer in a major metropolitan city, Rafael also understood the great need for children to be in safe, caring families.
While we weren’t sure exactly where we were going to adopt from or where the funds would come from, we knew God was calling us to adopt and began researching different options. Originally, we researched adopting from Latin American countries, but due to the various country requirements (length of marriage, required in-country stays, etc), we started looking into other programs. Bulgaria’s process was very stable and predictable. Once we learned about the children in need of families, particularly those of Roma descent, we immediately fell in love.
Our homestudy was completed and our dossier was submitted to Bulgaria. We still weren’t sure exactly how long the wait to referral would be or how we were going to afford it. As we were in the waiting stage, two families from our church, The Creek, mentioned that there was a church adoption fund through Lifesong. We applied, and the day before Thanksgiving, were awarded a very generous direct grant. As our wait for referral continued, new opportunities were presented to both of us with our employers, and we were able to save even more towards our adoption. The Lifesong Grant and our new positions allowed us to be able to fully fund our adoption while also allowing us to have funds available to give financially towards two other families’ adoptions.
“God always provides a way.”
During our wait time, every time we were getting discouraged, a testimonial, quote, or picture, would be posted on Lifesong’s social media page. These were a great encouragement to us.
On March 1, 2016, after 31 months on the registry and approximately nine months of paperwork prior to being registered, we received our referral of a 3-year-old girl and 2-year-old boy. We traveled in April on our first trip, and returned in late July to bring Sofia and Aleksandar home.
The transformational change that has taken place since arriving home has been remarkable. When we picked up our children, Aleksandar could barely walk and didn’t know how to feed himself. In five short months, he has learned how to use a spoon and fork properly. He also chases his sister through the house and walks up 15 steps in our house with ease. He surprises us, his therapists, and teachers every day with new skills. We have also been shocked at how quickly they picked up the language! Sofia knows her ABCs, colors, and numbers. The songs and crafts are two of her favorite activities at preschool.
Since Before They Were Born
When we expressed our desire and intent to adopt from Bulgaria to our friends, small group, and church family, they began praying for us. Periodically, they would ask how our process was going, if there was any news yet, and mention that they were praying for us. While we did not know it at the time, our daughter and son weren’t actually born yet. God’s timing is always perfect. God began preparing us to be their parents and our children were prayed for by dear family and friends since before they were born.
Christy and Rafael, thank you for sharing your story and for your willingness to wait out the long haul to see your adoption completed. Thank you, too, for reminding us that there is NO LIMIT to God’s provision. Where He leads, He provides. What an excellent reminder to pray for these precious kids long before they come home. God is always, ALWAYS at work in ways we cannot imagine. We look forward to seeing what He does through the lives of your little ones.
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